about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Thirty Two.

Yesterday, I turned thirty two.  When I say it out loud, it sounds really old, but if my twenties taught me anything, it’s to embrace the present and enjoy each new stage as it comes.  Mother Nature decided to give me a gift of her own.  She heard my whining and moaning, and blessed us with fabulous crisp air and a few hints of sunshine on Saturday morning.  The perfect weather for a local hike!

The three of us headed to St. Edwards State Park – a gorgeous nature preserve that is just a few minutes away from our house. 

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Cullen is horrible in the stroller these days, but he still does really well in the hiking backpack!  We hiked for over an hour, and he didn’t make a peep.  Just smiled and took in all the scenery. 

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I didn’t realize how badly I needed this outdoor release until I got it.  The air was perfect and the forest was so unbelievably green.  We walked and talked and felt like we had the park to ourselves – it was perfect. 

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We continued along our path until it emptied out onto the beach at the shore of Lake Washington.  I’ve never been down there when no one else was there – it was so peaceful.  I found a big tree to climb, just to make sure I could still feel young as I turned a year older.

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Thirty two and still climbing trees.  I don’t plan to stop!

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The perfect kickoff to what turned out to be one of the best birthdays I can remember in a long time. 

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Seattle, you are grey, but you are still so beautiful. 

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After a bit of lounging by the water, Cullen let us know it was time to head home for lunch.

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On our way back up through the trees, I saw signs of spring all around.  It’s coming!

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We got home and Casey took over with Cullen for lunch and nap duty.  I jumped in the car and headed into Seattle for some early birthday fun with my favorite Seattle mamas.  We had a little private room in the back of a nail salon, where we could all sit in fancy massage chairs and face each other while we were pampered.  We sat and laughed and talked, while our feet were scrubbed and beautified.  I haven’t done something like that in so long, and it was so relaxing and fabulous.

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But no birthday celebration is complete without dessert, right?  After our nails dried, we walked across the street to Hot Cakes – a delicious molten cake shop that should not be missed.  This was so delicious, and so rich that I couldn’t even finish it, which is a rarity. 

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I had a few fabulous hours with friends, and was reminded of how lucky I am to have met such wonderful people here in our new city.  They have really helped shape these last two years for us, and I am so grateful for them. 

I got home just as Cullen was waking up from his nap, and we all took advantage of the last few hours of daylight with a walk to the playground. 

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After Cullen went to bed, Casey and I got to work on a very special dinner treat.  My friend Nicki is super talented, and she made me this amazing DIY pizza kit for my birthday. 

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Complete with all ingredients, instructions, and everything else needed for an awesome homemade pizza night.  Her husband makes this crazy delicious dough, so we were really excited to get started. 

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Lots of flour and a big mess later…

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We had two out of control delicious homemade pizzas ready to eat!

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I ate waaaaay too much, slipped into a pizza coma, and fell asleep on the couch watching Downton Abbey. 

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Sunday morning I slept in and cozied under the covers as long as my little alarm clock would let me.  I woke up to many birthday wishes coming from the east coast, and felt very loved. 

Downstairs, Casey treated me to the first of my birthday gifts – he learned to play Happy Birthday on the guitar.  He’s been learning to play guitar for a few months now, and even though he thinks he is terrible, I love listening to him practice and improve.  My eyes filled with tears as he played me my birthday song.  He is so wonderful. 

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We headed out for a family breakfast at Sunlight Vegetarian Café.  I got a big bowl of their homemade granola with blueberries, which totally hit the spot. 

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And I mooched off Cullen’s eggs and potatoes.  Should have gotten my own – rookie mistake!

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Next up was our birthday adventure.  Casey said we could do whatever I wanted for my birthday, and even though it sounds super lame and cheesy, the thing that makes me happiest is doing fun things for Cullen.  We took our first trip to the Seattle Aquarium!

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My little octopus absolutely loved it.  He ran around checking out the fish and splashing in the low starfish pools. 

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We also had friends there, which made it even more fun.  He and his buddies ran around looking for trouble together, while the parents tried to keep up. 

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It was exactly the way I’d hoped to spend my birthday, and I was so happy Cullen seemed to like it so much. 

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We made it home in time for nap time, which I took quite literally.  Casey went for a run, Cullen snoozed, and I curled up on the couch with the dogs for a glorious nap of my own.  After a few hours of lounging, I dragged myself off the couch and into my workout clothes.  I headed to Barre class and got my thirty two year old butt handed to me.

After a few more hours at home with the family, Casey and I headed out for a special birthday celebration – just the two of us.  I was decked out with new gifts – a new bag from my BFF and a new coat from Casey.  So fun!

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We had a wonderful dinner of some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had at Spinasse in Seattle.  The bartender made me a fancy drink for my birthday – something called His Boy Elroy – blackberry vinegar, soda water, sugar, lemon rind, and other tasty stuff.  Awesome. 

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All in all, a wonderful birthday weekend.  So simple, and yet it was exactly what I wanted – family, food, friends, and fun. 

I’m excited to be thirty two.  I know a lot of people resist getting older, but I find that life just keeps getting better and better with every year.  I expect this one to be no different!

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80 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Sana     at 9:05 am

Happy Birthday Emily!

[Reply]

Carly @ Snack Therapy     at 9:14 am

Happy birthday! It looks like a fabulous one.

I also looove that DIY PIzza Kit- what a fun idea!

[Reply]

Tara     at 9:15 am

A big happy birthday to you! Glad to see you had such a wonderful day

[Reply]

Andrea     at 9:21 am

Happy Belated Birthday!

My fave at the Aquarium is the JellyFish arch- mesmerizing… :)

[Reply]

Leanne     at 9:23 am

Happy Birthday Em! <3

The picture of you and Cullen at the aquarium is beautiful!

[Reply]

Ingunn     at 9:25 am

Happy birthday, Emily!!

Glad I’m not the only one hunting for signs of spring…yesterday I saw plum blossoms – huzzah!

[Reply]

Erica     at 9:26 am

What an absolutely perfect birthday!

[Reply]

Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}     at 9:30 am

Happy birthday! Glad you had a great weekend!

[Reply]

Kristen @ Change of Pace     at 9:48 am

What a perfect birthday! Happy belated birthday Emily :)

[Reply]

natalie @ will jog for food     at 9:53 am

Happy Birthday Emily! I just turned 33 a couple months ago and barely noticed :)

[Reply]

Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed     at 9:53 am

Sounds like a lovely weekend! Happy Birthday, much love to you :D

[Reply]

Heather     at 9:55 am

Happy Birthday! It seems like you have a great group of friends and family that know how to show you you’re loved!

[Reply]

Lee     at 9:55 am

It’s funny how the next age always sounds so old until you get used to it. I turn 35 in two months and 35?! How can that be?

Happy Birthday!

[Reply]

Kaitlyn     at 9:57 am

Happy birthday Emily!! Sounds like a fantastic day to me!!

[Reply]

Lindsay     at 10:02 am

I wish we were closer and could have celebrated together :) Feb birthdays are the best!!

[Reply]

Tanya @ Vegan Faith     at 10:04 am

Happy Birthday Emily!

[Reply]

Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 10:07 am

Hope you had a great birthday! Happy 32 Emily!

[Reply]

Angela     at 10:10 am

Happy birthday! Sounds like you had a wonderful couple days of celebration!

[Reply]

Ashley     at 10:12 am

Happy birthday, lovely! Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend with your boys. xoxo

[Reply]

Angie     at 10:27 am

Happy Birthday! Looks like a fabulous weekend.

[Reply]

amanda     at 10:27 am

Sounds like a perfect birthday weekend! Happy Birthday!

[Reply]

Ali @ Peaches and Football     at 10:35 am

Pedicures are a great pampering and inexpensive treat! Great for a birthday. I am turning 32 this year as well. It seems on paper to be sooooo old. I tended to think anything over 30 was “old” but you learn how the years so gradually and beautifully blend that maybe now I understand more how my mom doesn’t “feel” her age – something I never understood. Imagine what we’ll be thinking when we turn 42!? :)

[Reply]

Amanda @ Sistas of Strength     at 10:49 am

What a lovely weekend! I’m 32 also…we’ll be okay. :) haha

[Reply]

Christina     at 10:51 am

Happy belated birthday! I am glad to see that you had a fabulous day. Mine was on the 26th of January and I too had the best birthday I’ve had in a long time, hopefully that is a sign of all the awesome to come in 2013.

For some reason I thought you were much younger, I was thinking 25-26! I just turned 33.

[Reply]

Michelle@Peachy Palate     at 10:53 am

That is one fun filled weekend! Sorry I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday but better late than never! LOVE the nail colour and the dessert from hot cakes looks like heaven in a jar?! Wowsers! :)

[Reply]

Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls     at 10:57 am

Happy birthday!!! Every second of that weekend sounds absolutely perfect, glad you enjoyed it!

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Mika     at 10:59 am

Happy Birthday, Emily! I adore the bag you’re carrying in the photo at the aquarium. Is it a diaper bag? If so, do you mind sharing the WHERE TO BUY info in your store?

[Reply]

Coco     at 11:09 am

Happy Birthday! looks like an amazing couple of days!

[Reply]

Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run     at 11:27 am

Happy Belated Birthday, Emily!

I’m glad you got some relaxing time with your girls.

Cullen looks so much like Casey :)

[Reply]

Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health     at 11:29 am

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a perfect weekend. I could just smell the fresh forest sit from those pictures!

[Reply]

Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 11:38 am

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a perfect birthday weekend to me. Isn’t it funny how our idea of a perfect birthday changes through the years?

[Reply]

Cassie     at 11:39 am

Happy Birthday! It looks like you had an incredible weekend. :)

In totally unrelated news, I have no idea why, but I thought you were a lot taller than that!

[Reply]

Jola     at 11:47 am

Happy Birthday!!

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Devon     at 12:12 pm

Looks like a wonderful birthday! What did you eat at Spinasse? I had never heard of it, but it looks like a good place to get authentic Italian food (can’t go back to places like Olive Garden after going to Italy, y’know). :)

[Reply]

Stephanie Abbott     at 12:21 pm

Happy belated Birthday!! And holy guacamole you are beautiful!!!!

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colleen     at 12:36 pm

Happy Belated Birthday! It sounds like the perfect birthday weekend. Especially the nap part. This mamma could go for one.

[Reply]

Babs     at 1:17 pm

Happy Birthday! I agree that we should embrace each year and appreciate that we have happiness and health when so many others do not. You had an awesome birthday weekend and I am sure this year will bring you tons of joy :)

[Reply]

Kelsey     at 1:28 pm

Your birthday weekend sounds amazing. I’m glad it was full of special celebrations and fun with your family and friends!

[Reply]

Mary     at 1:37 pm

Happy Birthday Emily!!

Oh my gosh, Cullen looks like such a little man with his haircut and sweater, I can’t stand it.

[Reply]

Lori     at 1:44 pm

Happy birthday!!

[Reply]

Nazreen     at 1:52 pm

Happy birthday Emily!

Your birthday weekend sounds like lots of fun! And Cullen is absolutely adorable! One quick question – where is his brown earmuff cap from? I would like to get a similar one for my lil’ toddler too! Thanks!

[Reply]

Elisabeth     at 2:11 pm

Happy birthday, Emily! I’m right behind you (turning 31 in May), but don’t have quite the attitude about it that you do… ;)

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Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries     at 2:11 pm

What a great birthday weekend! Happy Birthday!

[Reply]

sonia s braga     at 2:50 pm

Happy Birthday Emily!

[Reply]

Kelly     at 3:02 pm

That sounds like the best birthday! Happy Birthday! :)

[Reply]

Meagan     at 3:11 pm

That sounds like so much fun! I love how, now that I live in the Seattle area, that I can actually relate to what you’re saying now about Seattle! And I know about the places you go :) It’s definitely fun :)

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afarmerinthedell.com     at 3:43 pm

Happy Happy Birthday Emily! Your weekend sounded perfect.

[Reply]

Cate     at 3:49 pm

What a fabulous birthday weekend! And Cullen could not be any cuter than he is in that cap with those adorable ear flaps.

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lorie     at 4:46 pm

Happy birthday Emily!

Cullen looks just like Casey in that close up pic of you and him!!

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padma     at 5:13 pm

Feliz Cumpleanos Emily! You look absolutely radiant! And I love that you embrace each year, and love every moment as the days go by. I love your positivity.

[Reply]

Molly@This Life Is Sparkling     at 5:16 pm

Happy birthday!

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Presley @ Run Pretty     at 5:23 pm

Every single part of that sounds amazing! The pictures at the park are beautiful.

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Rebecca     at 5:59 pm

Happy Birthday! And 32 is still so young! I believe 32 was a fun year for me and I hope the same for you.

[Reply]

Katie @ Soulshine and Sassafras     at 6:14 pm

Happy birthday, Emily! What a great day :) And that drink looks amazing!

[Reply]

Amber K     at 6:21 pm

What a great time! Happy Birthday Emily. :)

[Reply]

Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 6:27 pm

Happy Birthday! Thirties are the best years!!!

[Reply]

Brenda Bettina     at 7:28 pm

Happy Belated Birthday!!!! Xo

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Hello Garlic     at 7:57 pm

Happy Birthday! Casey’s song was very sweet. And how do you like Downton Abbey?

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Avery @ YoungAspirations     at 8:18 pm

Looks like the perfect day to me! I’m so jealous of your hike.. we live at the beach, and of course while the beach is wonderful I really miss our mountain hikes! Also, that picture of Cullen’s grumpy face made me laugh out loud! Too funny. Happy birthday!! Glad you had such a great day :)

[Reply]

Leah M     at 8:48 pm

Happy birthday Emily! It looks like you had an amazing birthday weekend. Here’s to a great year ahead!

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Michelle (The Runner's Plate)     at 9:09 pm

Happy birthday, Emily! You make me excited to be 30. (I turn 30 on Sunday! eek!!) BUT I am excited for what life has to offer for me this next year!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Happy (early) Birthday!!

[Reply]

Julia     at 5:08 am

I have been following your blog for a while, but this is my first time commenting. Happy Birthday to you! Thirty-two is a wonderful age…enjoy it! I turn thirty-eight in just a few short months…the thirties are great! Glad the sun shone for you on Saturday! I also have to say that I’ve made your four bean chili several times and it’s our favorite!!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

So glad you guys like it!

[Reply]

Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy     at 5:35 am

Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a wonderful weekend!

[Reply]

Emily Zimmerman     at 5:40 am

Happy Birthday, Emily! 32 is so young, esp. since I am 42. All I can say is embrace the days, hours and minutes because time slips away quickly. Keep up with the great posts and recipes! You brighten my morning! :)

[Reply]

Leah     at 6:26 am

My husband is learning to play guitar too! :)

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Lisa     at 6:28 am

Looks like you had a wonderful birthday weekend; Happy Birthday!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers     at 6:34 am

Happy Birthday! 32 is young! I turned 40 this year and that my Friend was hard! Age 32 is when life came together for me! I felt great about life and I finally realized I got accomplished my missions that I had for that age. Mid 30′s is even better, that’s when you get a little smarter, a little bolder and a little bit more sure about yourself. No second guessing yourself, you just do it!! Happy Belated birthday!!

[Reply]

Allegra     at 8:13 am

Happy happy late birthday! My mom has always said that she felt like she was thirty two for decades, because she enjoyed that age so much. I hope it is just as wonderful for you!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Me too! :)

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Allegra     at 8:13 am

Happy happy late birthday! My mom has always said that she felt like she was thirty two for decades, because she enjoyed that age so much. I hope it is just as wonderful for you!

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Sara     at 9:25 am

Happy Belated Birthday, Emily!

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Sherisse H (@lovesplantbased)     at 3:24 pm

You may be 32, but you look well under 30 to me :) Happy Birthday!

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

You are sweet!

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April     at 7:34 pm

Yay, happy birthday! It sounds like you had a wonderful celebration!

[Reply]

Emily @ Life on Food     at 10:21 am

Happy Happy Birthday!

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Alexis @ Hummusapien     at 10:24 am

Happy belated birthday!! I think I need to go to a molten-cake shop for my next birthday. I really can’t think of a better way to spend the day!

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Colleen     at 10:11 pm

I love the Sunlight Cafe! Their lemon tahini dressing is amazing on everything.

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